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Anna Higgins, Clinic Administrator - Pasadena

Eat to succeed
Low-carbohydrate diet is the key to weight-loss success for Anna Higgins.
 
As a busy working mom of three children under age 7, Anna Higgins needs an effective diet and exercise regimen she can sustain without too much effort. She found success with the ketogenic diet, which is based on low carbs, moderate starch, high fats, and no processed foods. It helped her lose 70 pounds in nine months. In addition, she walks and jogs before work when she can find the time, and stays busy chasing kids and playing with her family.
 
How did you find yourself at a weight crisis point?
I had gotten really healthy several years ago and exercised and lost weight. But then in 2015, I became pregnant with my third child. Unlike my other pregnancies when I gained 10–15 pounds, I put on 60 pounds. After the baby was born, I gained 20 more pounds. I was at my heaviest ever.
 
I looked at reality, and it was depressing. I had 100 pounds to lose and didn’t know whether to cry, starve myself, or just keep eating.
 
What did you do about it?
A friend of mine was in the same boat. We knew we had to get our eating under control, so we started doing research. What mattered the most was that any diet had to be sustainable in my busy life.
 
What did your research lead to?
We found out about the ketogenic diet, which is low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. You eat fewer than 20 grams of carbs daily, which all come from fiber and vegetables. You don’t eat bread or crackers.
 
Was it difficult to begin?
At first we kept it simple: just hamburger patties, fajita meat, and chicken breasts. Then I learned about almond flour and starting branching out to make pizza, cheesecake, and other things. It was pretty easy, and my husband and daughter, who has celiac disease, got on it, too.
 
What have the results been?
I’m eating good food, not diet food, so I’m rarely tempted by breads or sweets. I’ve had plateaus, but kept going. So far, I’ve lost 80 pounds. I feel better, and my body moves easier. My husband’s cholesterol has gone down 60 points, and his “good cholesterol” is up.
 
How do you work all this into your busy life?
My husband and I talk on Saturday about what we want to eat the next week. Then we have the groceries delivered on Saturday or Sunday. Sunday morning is for family fun and then I spend the rest of the day cooking. I make double and triple batches, so during the week we can heat it up and eat it.
 
Do you exercise?
I love to jog and walk, but it’s hard to find the time. Sometimes I get up at 5 a.m. and walk in the neighborhood. Playing with my kids helps and during their sports practices and games I walk in the park. We like to do jumping jacks and sit-ups as a family.
 
What are your goals?
I want to lose another 20 pounds and lower my BMI (body mass index).
 
What keeps you motivated?
I want to be there for my children and be active. Losing weight is a big motivator, too.
 
What is your advice?
Starting this diet is the hardest part. You have to be ready. It’s important to be realistic with yourself. Keep it simple. Find what is sustainable and works for you. Feeling better will give you the motivation to stick to it.